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Apple responds to troubling allegations of iOS 'backdoor'

Dan Moren | July 23, 2014
Information security has never been a more sensitive subject than it is these days, so it's little surprise that allegations from a security researcher that iOS contains a "backdoor" permitting access to users' information provoked a strong response from Apple.

To be clear, the risk here is not necessarily from malicious parties stealing sensitive data over the Internet nor from the government snooping on your every move. But there are privacy implications much closer to home: Given access to the system described in Zdziarski's presentation, it wouldn't be hard for someone with physical access to the device — say, a private investigator hired by a jealous partner — to gain access to that data. At the same time, there's only so much that can be done when someone has physical access to the device.

But there remains a larger point, especially in this day and age. Apple has taken a firm stand on privacy, and it's disappointing to see the company not fully and transparently explaining why these systems have the range of access that they do, why they circumvent security processes the company itself put into place, and why there's no way for a user to easily disable them. That's the kind of attitude that we've grown to expect from the company, and we'd like to see them live up to it.


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